Monday, March 31, 2008

Marble Approves This Flooring

FloorProject, originally uploaded by Rosemary Grace.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Home improvement is good exercise.

We now have laminate floor in our bedroom. I have very sore thighs from kneeling and crouching all weekend installing it, I am impressed that I managed to clear most of the furniture out of the bedroom by myself on Friday, without putting my back out, and then put most of it back this afternoon, though I had to get Matt to handle the heaviest dresser drawers. This is the benefit of a five week habit of pilates twice a week.

The weekend had a nice finish, our good friends and neighbors L & G are clearing out their stash of crafts tools, we scored some calligraphy pens, a complete set of crochet hooks of every size, leather-tooling gadgets, and about an inch stack of Crane's writing paper. Plus, unexpected bonus hanging out with our friends for a drink and conversation while we prowled their stash like vultures.

Photos of the reflooring process to come, but considering we haven't downloaded from the camera since November...don't hold your breath. I know I'm not.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

...fellow, well met


It has hailed twice this afternoon, it came on very quickly, the first time mixed with rain, so it took us a while to realize what was making the *ping* noise on the BBQ, the second time, just dry hailstones the size of green peas or larger (almost 1cm across!). The kids in the flat across the green ran out, giggling, to experience it, then they pulled out bright yellow umbrellas with ducks faces painted on. We stood on our doormat, under the overhang of the balcony above, enjoying the novelty, and feeling the air drop temperature by the minute, until it dropped a little too much for sandals (Matt) and pajamas (me) and we retreated indoors for some spicy tea.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Conversation with a Californian Undergraduate

CalUG: Where are you from, you have an accent?
Me: Edinburgh, Scotland, and I went to university in London.
CalUG: Oh WOW, I've always wanted to travel there! I want to do a year abroad in the UK!
Me: You should, it's a great experience, my cousin did a semester in Florence, and really enjoyed it, I did a year abroad too!
CalUG: Really, where did you go?
Me: Here.
CalUG:...*blank look*
Me: *waiting for it to sink in*
CalUG: Oooooh! Here is "abroad" for you!
Me: Yup, odd isn't it?

Actually she was bright and fun to talk to, some people I've had the same conversation with never get there themselves, and don't quite get it even when I point out that I was one of the UK students being exchanged for a US student, hence "exchange student". It was such a classic moment of watching her world view expand just a little bit. I'm used to people viewing my home town as a place to visit, and to go to university, it's a major holiday and student exchange destination. I'm used to thinking of "abroad" and "foreign" as relative terms, entirely subjective, it still surprises me when I realize that to a large majority they are absolute terms. Though I suppose that absolute definition of "other" does explain a lot about what goes on in the world.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Experimental Quiche

I found a pie crust in the freezer, some sharp cheddar that had dried out a little, and blueberries that need to be eaten....and I remembered how good blueberry beer tastes with cheddar. So it's in the oven right now, I hope it comes together!

This is based on the cheese and scallion quiche in the Vegetarian Epicure:
Pre-bake the pie crust for 7 minutes at 450F, while it is cooling, saute a very small yellow onion in olive oil, add a pinch of baker's yeast, spread the cooked onion in the base of the crust, add a few ounces of sharp cheddar, cut into 1cm cubes, the contents of a 3oz punnet of blueberries, salt & pepper. Whisk six eggs and about 4fl.oz. of half-and-half (light whipping cream) with nutmeg, salt and pepper, pour it into the quiche and bake at 450F for 15min, then 350F for 15min. Finger crossing optional.